Why slut shaming needs to stop being a thing

While out with friends this weekend, I heard something that really threw me for a loop. It made me salty enough to write a blog about it, so here goes.

Convo (not word for word obviously, but you get the idea):

Friend 1: Ugh I just hate her.

Friend 2: Wait why do you hate her again? Did she get with ********(ex-boyfriend)?

Friend 1: No, she’s just a whore. And I hate whores. I’m not one, so why does she have to be one?

* insert my neck snapping because of how fast I had to turn and look at her for making this comment *

Here is a prime example of slut shaming. For those of you lucky enough to have not heard about this debacle, attached is a definition of the term as coined by Urban Dictionary. Maybe some of us have even done it. These are conversations that happen often, but we usually do not think of the weight that they carry. Are we desensitized to it because of how much it is in any form of media at any point of the day? It is in movies, songs, TV shows, you name it. Just because it happens on such a grand scale does not make it okay. Not even remotely.

I have been called a slut. Do I feel like one? Not really. Does it hurt when someone, either a person I care about or hardly know, calls me one? You betcha. This is a narrative that has been going on for so long that many people join in on it. Not just men, but many women as well.

Our society is so patriarchal to its deepest roots that it idolizes men for modeling promiscuous behavior when girls are shamed. Guys brag about their “body count”, when girls with a higher number of sexual partners are not as easy to share that information. For the most part. This double standard has affected generations, even our own, no matter how progressive we try to become. Just because someone leads a different lifestyle than you, does not mean they are wrong. If they’re happy doing what they’re doing, let them rock.

As women, we are taught though, in order to garner attention from our prospective mates, we have to be some amount of sexy and experienced. If women go too far, that is how we enter dangerous territory of being labeled derogatorily. OR if you are not sexy enough, or act like you aren’t interested in sex as a whole, you run the risk of becoming viewed as a bore or uptight in popular culture. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There are women who try to own the label, and use the power in the term to work to their advantage and combat the stigma. You go girl. This does not happen for everyone though.

Once a woman is labeled as a slut, especially in smaller circles, it’s game over. Slut shaming can be so dangerous. Women that are labeled as such face higher levels of suicide, and are even more at risk to be sexually assaulted. Then slut shaming has the potential to morph into victim-blaming, which is something that should never EVER happen. But it does. Where does it end?

There is so much more to say on the topic and it will be so hard to change this narrative, but we have to try. Lives could depend on it. So do something about it. Next time you hear a friend getting picked on for how many “bodies” she has, step in. Bystanders don’t change the world. Those who act do. You have the power to do something great. Step in. Speak up. It’s not as hard as you think.

Slut Shaming, as per Urban Dictionary.fullsizerender

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